Sky Talk

FAA to hire 1,400 air traffic controllers


If you like tracking airplanes and helping them take off and land safely at U.S. airports, the government wants you.

The Federal Aviation Administration announced Tuesday that it will accept applications for 1,400 entry-level air traffic controller positions from August 8 to August 15. The agency said it expects to receive over 25,000 applications for the positions during the one-week job opening on

“We provide the safest, most efficient airspace system in the world and we need exceptional people to support our mission,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta in a statement.

Job applicants must be U.S. citizens under the age of 31 and be willing to relocate to an FAA facility based on the agency’s staffing needs.

Currently, the FAA employs about 14,000 air traffic controllers and the median annual salary is $122,950. New air traffic controllers first spend several months training at the FAA Academy in Oklahoma City and then are typically placed in lower level air traffic facilities.

The Terminal Radar Approach Control facility in Dallas/Fort Worth is one of the ten busiest in the country and is one of the top staffing priorities for the FAA.

The agency began hiring large numbers of air traffic controllers several years ago as it prepared for a wave of retirements of controllers who hired in 1981 after the PATCO strike. The mandatory retirement age for an air traffic controller is 56.

The FAA said it expects to hire 1,600 air traffic controllers during its 2016 fiscal year.

Andrea Ahles: 817-390-7631, @Sky_Talk